Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Celebrity Memoir
ISBN: 978-0812994995
Source: Bought
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From the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO’s Girls comes a hilarious, wise, and fiercely candid collection of personal essays that establishes Lena Dunham as one of the most original young talents writing today.

In Not that Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one’s way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and, most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told.

Exuberant, moving, and keenly observed, Not that Kind of Girl is a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the struggle that is growing up. “I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you,” Dunham writes. “But if I can take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile.”

Wow. I always love reading the memoirs of screenwriters, particularly those who write for TV because it’s always so, so fascinating to hear their stories in their own carefully crafted words…words they pour themselves over day in and day out, revise and revise again until they can’t revise anymore and then put those words out into the world and it’s their voice and their voice alone. What will they say? What will they brush over or not mention at all? Will they be as candid as they can possibly be? What does their voice sound like without a writers room behind them? What does their voice look like on the page? How’s the tone, the pacing, etc..? How much of what they say will give me new insight into the show they run and/or write for? Needless to say, I’m truly enamored with the memoirs of TV writers and this was no different.

This is our hobby, appropriating meaningful artifacts and displaying them as evidence of who we will never be.

Lena is not only very candid, TMI candid which is both horrifying and hilarious but I’m happy to report that I absolutely love her voice! Obviously, I knew that I would like it since I am a fan of what she chooses to write about on Girls but writing for TV and writing a book are two completely different mediums. And it’s great to see that she’s very talented (and comfortable) with both. The memoir is very fluid as it touches on a number of subjects, which I love. Lena knows what she’s doing and is very much in tune with herself (the good and the bad) and her voice and this medium and she owns all of that and makes this book her own (love the illustrations) that all reflects wonderfully on the page.

Oh, look, they said to themselves, it’s a cute little director-shaped thing.
Just wait until I’m eighty.

I was very much entertained reading this memoir and on the flip side, very enlightened on her life as I learned things that I otherwise never would’ve known. While I do empathize with her on some level, for the most part, this was simply a fascinating look at how she carried/carries herself as a young woman, which she still is and how certain moments have impacted her. Yes, this book covers her sexual exploration but there’s more to her and her story than that and I’m glad I read this to find out what else that is, even if only a little for now, all in quite a humorous way. It was a very intriguing journey as I discovered the moments in her life that she considers notable and hope this is just the first of many non-fiction works she puts out because really, this is just the beginning.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham is available now.